Hello bloggers! Today, I have for a story I whipped up for Jenelle’s Fantasy is February Month short story challenge! (It’s a bit late, but that’s okay, right?) I wrote it in about an hour or two, so it probably won’t be amazing, but I hope you enjoy! ❤
“I am in no way under any obligation to make sense to you.”
Isidora spun her goblet of grape juice, watching it swirl in a tornado of purple. She was sick of dealing with these men and would much rather have called it quits for the day.
“But Isi, we need-”
“Don’t…” Isidora’s eyes glared bright with anger, “call me Isi.”
The man dipped his head in acquiescence and tried again. “Isidora, highness, don’t you think we should be doing something about this coming storm?”
“Frederick makes a valid point, highness,” Kiernan put in quickly. “The white is closing in and snow is imminent.”
Isidora cast her eyes to look out one of the long, colored-glass windows lining the great feasting hall. The snow was coming down gently now, but she knew without a doubt that it would only get worse the longer she waited.
“I made myself quite clear, gentlemen,” she said with a sigh. “We shall wait for Felix to come, then sort out the matter. Then and only then.”
The men said nothing for a moment, each too afraid to speak, instead, staring disinterestedly at their plates of turkey and corn mush.
Isidora stood. “I’m tired now, and I will be retiring to my room. You are all free to stay and finishing supping in the dining hall.” She set down her half-drunk glass of juice and stepped lightly from the room.
When she reached her rooms, she quietly bolted the door shut, fell onto her bed, and started to cry.
Why couldn’t the men see? Felix would fix everything. It didn’t matter that he’d been out traveling for some months. When he got wind of the storm brewing, which he surely will, he would come home.
But a little voice in Isidora’s heart told her that wasn’t true. Why after all this time would he come back so suddenly? Despair ate away at any hope that was left.
What if Felix was lost? Or, worse yet, caught in the storm, never to be seen or heard from again? She had no desire to wear her black mourning gown.
A small knock sounded on the door. Isidora sat up, hastily wiping her tear-stained cheeks, and hurried to pull the door open.
In the entrance was Ferdinand.
“Isidora? I need to have a word with you. I’m terribly sorry for…disturbing you,” he said, noting her red cheeks.
“No, no,” Isidora said, trying to sound casual. “It’s fine. I’ll meet you in the library.” She turned to her desk, but paused. Turning around she eyed Ferdinand. “It is just the two of us, right?”
Ferdinand looked a bit unsettled, but nodded all the same. “Yes, yes, of course. I could tell you were getting upset by all the men.”
Isidora nodded and hurried to powder her face. She hardly wanted Ferdinand to think she’d only gone to her rooms to cry. Which, she supposed she had, but that was beside the point.
Walking briskly down the halls, she soon reached the massive doors of the library. She tugged them open and saw Ferdinand, back to her, staring out the window. He turned when he heard the doors open. “Hello.”
Isidora nodded and strode up to him. “What was it you wanted?”
Ferdinand nodded his head, as if that answered the question. After a moment he spoke. “We’ve had word from Heimberg.”
Isidora’s eyes widened. Felix was supposedly in Heimberg. “What is it?”
Ferdinand didn’t speak for a moment, then looked fiercely up at Isidora. “Heimberg is snowed in.”
For a moment, Isidora said nothing, too stunned to comprehend what Ferdinand had said. She swallowed.
“Felix…Felix is in Heimberg.” Her voice quavered, try as she might to control herself. I’m not crying in front of Ferdinand again.
For the first time that night, Isidora noticed the bags under Ferdinand’s eyes. He had evidently known this for some time, which made Isidora worry all the more.
“If Felix is really in Heimberg,” Ferdinand said with a tired sigh, “then he is stuck there. For how long, I don’t know.”
A biting wind rattled the glass of the window, causing Isidora to step back in surprise. The storm had started brewing.
Isidora crept toward the window, feeling the icy glass under her hand. But it wasn’t like any cold she’d ever felt. Where the warmth of her hand would’ve melted a patch of ice away, instead only succeeded in sending a chill up her spine. She wrenched her hand away.
“This is like no other blizzard, Isidora,” Ferdinand said, coming up beside her. “It is the work of dark magic.”
A sharp rap at the door sent Ferdinand rushing to open it. A footman stood in the entrance.
“Our scouts have found something…” The footman hesitated. “Someone.”
Ferdinand glanced back at Isidora, awaiting her command. But Isidora had no desire to figure out what to do about the situation. “Who is this stranger?”
“No stranger, I’m afraid, highness,” the footman said, shuffling his feet. “It’s Felix.”
Isidora was at the entrance to the castle in a matter of moments, with all the men trailing her. She poked her head out one of the windows lining the room and saw in the distance a group of men plodding toward the castle.
“Bring him in immediately,” Isidora stated firmly, not dragging her gaze from the little party.
“Yes, highness,” the men replied, gathering their cloaks and rushing out into the unearthly storm.
Isidora watched and waited, her heart thumping violently in her chest. There was so much she wanted to say. So much she didn’t understand.
Felix had told her he must be away on a business venture, but when he hadn’t returned in the a week’s time, she had known something was very, very wrong.
The letters had stopped coming, people in the neighboring kingdoms hadn’t seen him for considerable amounts of time, and so, Felix had been presumed missing.
Isidora had known in her heart that wasn’t so. Felix wouldn’t leave her to fend for herself. He was still out there. Somewhere.
And now here he was, fast approaching the castle doors.
The wide French doors blew open with a wintry gust, and in stepped four men, all protectively surrounding Felix, who was half-blue and shivering.
Isidora flew into action.
“Get him some hot broth! And a blanket! And perhaps some dry clothes, too.” She tried to shove past the scouts to get to Felix, but they shoved her back.
“Felix has told us not to come near him, highness,” one of them said stoutly.
Isidora pursed her lips. “He is in no condition to make any sort of decision for himself. Step aside.”
Just then, a forceful gust of air burst through the windows, shattering the glass, letting in the biting cold air. Shouts arose as the wind took shape, forming into a swirling tornado of snow.
Eyes wide, mouth hanging, Isidora stared at the wind. She glanced back at Felix, who was backing farther and farther away, fear in his eyes.
“This kingdom belongs to winter,” a deep, echoing voice said. “And I shall be the one to claim it.” The voice was coming from within the swirling tempest. Isidora tripped on her skirt, backing up against the wall. A frostiness had entered her veins, leaving her frozen in place.
She felt an icy hand grip her shoulder, and saw that it was Felix. He was staring up at the wind, though he didn’t look as fearful as before.
“Isi,” he said, his voice quivering from cold. “I need you to get down. This tornado is dangerous.”
Isidora nodded numbly, unsure of what she had just heard. Nonetheless, she slowly lowered herself to the ground. Felix remained upright and pushed himself toward the storm.
“Coldspawn!” he shouted into the wind. “You’re not welcome here!”
“I will rule this kingdom and call it my own,” the chilling voice hissed. “And from then on, I will be known as the Blizzard of Westchester!”
Felix took a dizzy step back. Isidora remembered the feel of his hand on her shoulder. He was freezing cold. A thought sprang to mind. Felix is freezing to death.
Rising to her feet, Isidora called for order. The commotion of the guards and men died down, and she spoke.
“We all need to huddle together to get Felix warm!”
The men stood in stunned silence.
“Well?” Isidora exclaimed. “I’ve finally made a decision. Make it so!”
And so, all of the people in the room grabbed each others’ arms and flocked together, until they formed one giant group of people, all huddled around Felix’s shivering body.
The warmth of their togetherness spread through the room like a physical thing.
Felix’s voice rose from above the storm. “Leave, Coldspawn. You have no power here.”
A hideous screeching sound shocked everyone’s eardrums, and then the storm receded. Frigid silence filled the room, all of the people stood, too afraid to move away from their group of safety.
Isidora finally shoved through the people, dragging Felix along with her. Holding his hand was like holding an ice cube. “What have you gotten yourself into?” she said, looking up at her brother.
Felix shook his head, shivering. “I…It’s just my luck, I guess. I ran into an angry wizard and he cursed me with a blizzard hanging above my head.” His voice shook and his lips were blue. “I didn’t want to come home like this. But I also didn’t know what to do. I was too weak to think.”
Isidora wrapped her brother in a hug, trying to rub some warmth back into him. “I was so worried about you. What were you doing in Heimberg?”
“I was seeing the healer there, to see if he could cure me. But he sent me away because I was causing to much damage to the kingdom.”
Isidora sighed. “I never want you out of my sight again. Come on, we’re getting you into bed with a warm blanket and some chicken broth.”
“Oh, Isi, I’m sure it’s not been all bad. Ferdinand has to have taken good care of you, right?”
Isidora stared up at Felix’s cold blue eyes. Mischief shone bright in them. “You’re still Felix, to be sure,” she said in relief.
After Felix was comfortably settled in bed, Isidora sat by the blazing hearth in his room and stared out the window. Snow was falling gently now, and the moonlight made it appear glittery on the hills.
“He won’t stay away forever.”
Isidora turned to her brother. “What?”
“Coldspawn,” Felix said. “He won’t stay away for long. He’ll be back.”
A rap sounded on the door and then Ferdinand walked in. He bowed to Felix and then Isidora.
“I need a word with you both,” he said, striding up to Isidora and taking her hand. He kissed it gently.
All cold vanished from her as the warmth of Ferdinand’s touch filled her whole body. She glanced at Felix and saw he was politely looking away, yet still smiling with an inane grin on his face.
“What did you need?” Isidora said calmly, since clearly Felix was not going to speak for the both of them.
“The blizzard has moved from Westchester to Rouxley. The people are in distress.”
Felix sat up at this. “This is my fault. We need to stop him.”
Isidora nodded. “As soon as you’re better, of course.”
“I won’t be able to wait,” Felix said with a weak smile. “But I won’t be going alone this time.”
“Thank goodness for that,” Isidora said smiling back.
Well, there it is. If you managed to read through the whole thing, you deserve cake, honestly. And if you enjoyed it, you get cake and ice cream. 😉 Comment down below what you thought of it. And tell me, are you working on any fantasy stories?